The Supreme Court of Pakistan has asked former president Pervez Musharraf to explain his decision in November 2007 to impose emergency rule.
The notice was issued after hours of debate in the courtroom over whether it was appropriate to make him a party to a case challenging his actions then.
He imposed emergency rule, suspended the constitution and dismissed about 60 judges after challenges to his power.
Mr Musharraf does not have to appear in person in court and can send a lawyer.
The court took the view that anybody whose actions were being discussed in a case had the right to be represented.
“This is the first time in Pakistani history that the court has taken cognisance of such action. In the past, the courts have tended to condone military takeovers,” a former chief justice of Pakistan, Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui, told Dawn News TV.
The BBC’s Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says that the court apparently issued the notice to Mr Musharraf following the refusal on Tuesday by the attorney-general, who represents the government, to defend the former president’s position in the case. Continue reading